Anyone who has had the experience of having to stand twice as long in the shower or having dinner ruined from being distracted by the slow water flow understands the frustration of low water pressure. And it’s not just incredibly tasking, but low water pressure can also be dangerous. For example, when caused by a blockage in the pipes, it can cause the water to stagnate and become contaminated with harmful bacteria, posing a serious health risk.
While sometimes a more drastic solution like installing a new centrifugal pump is necessary, there are a few things you can try first. Here are three ways to try to fix low water pressure at home.
Check for Leaks
Many times, there’s a leak that means the flow of water is being diverted and reduced so that by fixing it – tightening loose fittings, replacing damaged pipes – water pressure becomes higher.
First, you’ll have to turn off all faucets and appliances so that no water is being used in the house. Then, there are different ways to check for leaks:
- If you have a water meter, take readings 30 minutes apart and compare them. A change means there’s a leak
- A leak detection dye is a special dye that can be added to areas of your plumbing system
- Check for water stains and dampness on the ceiling, walls, under sinks, and around toilets
Clean the Aerators
The aerator is a small device located at the end of a faucet that can become clogged with sediment or debris over time, meaning low water pressure.
Here’s how to clean it:
- Turn off the water
- Remove the aerator with pliers or a wrench and disassemble it
- Soak the parts in vinegar for at least 30 minutes to dissolve the minerals or sediment
- Scrub the parts with a small brush to remove any remaining buildup
- Rinse thoroughly with water and reassemble
Flush The Pipes
Like your aerators, sediment and mineral deposits can build up in your pipes, restricting water flow and causing low water pressure. So another thing you can try is flushing your pipes.
To flush your pipes:
- Start turning on all the water, beginning at the lowest level of your house
- Wait 30 minutes, all the while monitoring for flooding
- Turn off all your faucets in the same order you turned them on
- Consider flushing your kitchen and bathroom taps again, one at a time for a minimum of 10 minutes each
Before you pay for a plumber to assess the problem and recommend a course of action, why not try out these fixes for low water pressure at home? By checking for and fixing leaks, cleaning the aerators with vinegar and a brush, as well as flushing your pipes for at least a 30-minute interval, you may be able to fix your low water pressure and stop all the frustrations that come with it.